In its ruling, the CAT said the CMA “acted irrationally” in its decision-making and failed to provide the essential evidence needed to block the takeover.
Following this result, JD Sports Fashion has said the case will now be remitted to the CMA for full consideration and the authority’s previous order, which would have coerced the business into divesting Footasylum, will now be cancelled.
Peter Cowgill, executive chairman of JD Sports Fashion, said: “We have always maintained that this merger would provide significant long-term benefits to customers, colleagues and brand partners, and so we are very pleased with the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s judgment today.
“The entire case will now go back to the CMA for reconsideration and we look forward to presenting further evidence which demonstrates the true extent to which the competitive landscape has evolved, in particular as a result of the unprecedented challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The CMA has said it is considering an appeal.